The Phony Campaign

2011-03-20 Update

[phony baloney]

Intrade shows that Haley Barbour has snuck back above our arbitrary 4% threshold for inclusion in the phony poll; his appearance comes at the expense of Jon Huntsman, to whom we bid adieu (for now). And despite not knowing exactly where that rude bridge that arched the flood was, Michele Bachmann remains alive:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 3,810,000 -60,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 2,680,000 -50,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony 1,680,000 -100,000
"Newt Gingrich" phony 1,470,000 -60,000
"Michele Bachmann" phony 903,000 +1,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 501,000 -21,000
"Haley Barbour" phony 424,000 ---
"Tim Pawlenty" phony 405,000 -56,000
"Mitch Daniels" phony 377,000 +4,000

  • Speaking of Congresswoman Bachmann, she Facebooked about her Granite State flub:

    So I misplaced the battles Concord and Lexington by saying they were in New Hampshire. It was my mistake, Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!

    Not bad, if you're trying to suck up to New Hampshire voters. If you seriously want to be President of all fifty states, maybe not so good.

  • Congresswoman Bachmann has a way to go, however, before she reaches major league phoniness. For example, try to guess which Presidential candidate said this:

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    Obviously, some racist blowhard Republican trying to undermine President Obama's efforts in Libya, right?

    Well, no. That was then-candidate Barack Obama, December 20, 2007 in a written response to a Boston Globe questionnaire.

    Original link via non-phony left-winger Glenn Greenwald in Salon. But it's not just left-wing kooks that are disturbed; here's a read-the-whole-thing column from Andrew McCarthy at National Review. His conclusion:

    If the president and proponents of intervention cannot win congressional approval, that is a reason to refrain from going to war, not a reason to refrain from asking for approval. I used to think we all agreed about that. I hope we still do.

    Candidate Obama seemed to agree back in 2007:

    Any President takes an oath to, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The American people need to know where we stand on these issues before they entrust us with this responsibility – particularly at a time when our laws, our traditions, and our Constitution have been repeatedly challenged by this [George W. Bush] Administration.

    That was then, this is now. And it's worth pointing out that Dubya did ask for, and received, Congressional approval pre-Afghanistan and pre-Iraq.

  • The mysterious semi-Southern accent developed by Tim Pawlenty for a speech before social conservatives in Iowa continues to draw comment. The Minnesota subcell of Commie Radio did a story on it, including audio samples so you can judge for yourself. A professor at the University Near Here is quoted:

    But University of New Hampshire political scientist Dante Scala said candidates need to be careful to avoid presenting too many different faces as they travel the nation looking for support.

    "You have to be who you are," Scala said. "You never want to become a laughing stock, of course, but you don't want to be seen as inauthentic."

    You and I usually don't face that choice every day. "Gee, should I be a laughingstock or a phony?" But if Professor Scala asserts that's the sort of coin-flip politicians continually need to make, who am I to disagree with an expert?

    [Language Log has more on this issue, with science.]

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:32 PM EST